Since its construction in 1936, this compact heritage-protected house typical of Parkhurst, had suffered a number of ad hoc alterations, which saw its entrance ‘stoep’ and hall converted into a study, its internal flows disrupted, and the spaces rendered dark and uninviting. Redeeming features, restored as part of the project, were some retained details of the original house. Internally these included pressed steel ceilings and cornices, Oregon Pine pin stripe floor boards, panelled doors and architraves and some antique light fittings; externally the original tall unplastered brick chimney and keyed-jointed brick at the base and quoins to the corners of the building lent themselves to restoration.

The design challenge laid in creating a liveable, integrated spatial configuration for a family with growing needs on a relatively small site, while balancing respect for the old with expression of the new.

The design reinstated the entrance porch and hall, to reactivate original spatial flows, opened up the living areas to enhance the quality of space and light, and reconnected the interiors with the main garden to the north via an intimate patio with a traditional fire-brick- braai.

Extensions to the house include new bathrooms in a lean-to, and a third bedroom suite above the garage. While these additions find contemporary architectural expression through components such as sliding shutters, steel beams and columns, these are juxtaposed with the traditional elements such as the pressed steel ceiling or lead glass fan lights, which conjures the notion of a pendulum – a constant oscillation between old and new.